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World No Tobacco Day 2017: Why Does It Matter?

Patricio V. Marquez's picture


"Sugar, rum, and tobacco, are commodities which are nowhere necessaries of life, [but] which are ... objects of almost universal consumption, and which are therefore extremely proper subjects of taxation."

-    Adam Smith, An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations (1776)


World No Tobacco Day 2017 focuses on the links between tobacco use, tobacco control, and sustainable development. Does this mean that tobacco use is more than a public health issue?  The answer is an emphatic yes, rooted in robust scientific evidence accumulated over the past five decades and country experiences worldwide. Let me explain.